How to successfully take a deposition.
This post is all about the 8 Simple Rules For Deposition Testimony. Have you ever wondered how to successfully testify at your deposition? Clients are usually nervous before being “deposed”. Are you? They want to do a good job but don’t have experience with being deposed or have had a bad experience with the process. Depositions are not like having a conversation around the breakfast table over a cup of coffee. They are formal conversations where a court reporter will take down all questions and answers or comments. You really need to be ready for the issues involved in your case. Your lawyer should sit down with you well in advance of the deposition to prepare you. Don’t just assume the lawyer will do what I’m saying to prepare you. Not a lot of lawyers take enough time to properly prepare their client for this very important event. There are right and wrong ways to answer questions. If your lawyer prepares you by meeting with you ten minutes before the deposition and advising, “Just tell the truth.”, that’s not sufficient. The process is more complicated than just telling the truth. I’ve never met a client that won their case in a deposition, but I’ve met some who’ve lost the case because of something they said or didn’t say in their deposition.
In the next few posts I'll discuss the how-to's and the do-not's about being deposed. But first let’s go over the 8 Simple Rules For Deposition Testimony. The rules are pretty simple, but executing them is not like having a normal conversation. In this first post I’ll state the rules, then tomorrow after you’ve had time to memorize these 8 simple rules, I’ll test you by asking one simple question, and your answer will demonstrate whether or not you understood the 8 simple rules. Okay ready?
Here are the 8 SIMPLE RULES FOR DEPOSITION TESTIMONY -
1. Always tell the Truth.
2. Listen to the Question.
3. Make sure you understand the Question.
4. If you don’t understand the Question ask for clarification.
5. Before you answer, pause and think about your answer.
6. If you can answer with a “Yes” or “No”, answer with a “Yes” or “No”.
7. If the answer requires more than a simple “Yes” or “No”, keep your answer concise, brief and to the point.
8. Don’t offer any information.
Do you understand these 8 Simple Rules For Deposition Testimony?
Then come back tomorrow for the One Simple Question.
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